Councillor wants action taken after Travellers stop at North-east school for second time

Travellers  recently pitched up  outside Ellon Community Campus.
Travellers recently pitched up outside Ellon Community Campus.

A call has been made to introduce measures near a school to stop Travellers from pitching up in the area.

An unofficial encampment appeared at the £36 million Ellon Community Campus last week – the second time in as many months.

About six caravans and accompanying cars set up close to the road leading to the school in May during term time.

Now, Councillor Gillian Owen has asked officers what can be done to prevent more encampments from arriving ahead of school pupils returning next month.

She has also met with Inspector Jamie Harrison, of the Formartine Community Policing Team.

Measures, such as vehicle width restrictions, have been introduced at other stopping spots in the town in the past, including at Ellon’s Park and Ride.

Cllr Owen said: “The unauthorised camp of Travellers at the academy campus has now moved on.

“Having sought action it still takes time and none of us like that.

“I am really disappointed that once again the Travellers have targeted our magnificent academy campus, which is a totally inappropriate place for them to be.

“Measures now need to be put in place to stop this type of incursion anywhere on the campus site now and in the future.

“I have met with council officers to talk about measures that could be put in place to stop the use of the verge for this inappropriate way.

“I have also met with Inspector Harrison to talk about the Travellers setting up camp again and why the police seem powerless to act even though it’s a school site.”

In mid-June the council’s gypsy-traveller sub-committee agreed to take forward a planning application for an official halting site at Aikey Brae, near Old Deer.

Local authority plans for sites at Ellon, Thainstone and Laurencekirk were all discarded this year, and two others planned for Blackdog and Chapelton of Elsick may not take shape for years.

Aberdeenshire Council confirmed discussions had taken place between the local authority and Cllr Owen.